Healthy for the Holidays: Six Safe December Decorating Tips

The holiday season is finally here, and with it comes joy, love… and a little madness! Decking your halls is a fun activity for the whole family, but it’s important to keep safety first when transforming your home into a winter wonderland. That’s why we’re sharing our top six tips for holiday decorating to keep your kiddos safe and cheerful all season long!   

  • Tree Safety 101: Nothing beats picking the perfect tree and covering it with meaningful and beautiful décor, but trees come with hidden dangers that are easily overlooked. Here’s a few precautionary and easy guidelines to keep in mind this holiday season:
    • Water your tree daily – dry trees are more likely to catch on fire.
    • If you have an artificial tree, make sure it’s made from fire-retardant material.
    • Ensure your holiday lights are labeled “safety-tested.”
    • Secure large trees with guide wires to avoid accidents with little ones or pets.
    • Place breakable ornaments at the top of the tree and out of reach from small children.
  • Holly Isn’t Always Jolly: Popular holiday plants like mistletoe, holly berries and poinsettias may add the perfect pop of color to your home, but are toxic for kiddos and pets when swallowed. Make sure to keep your holiday plants out of reach this season to maintain a safe atmosphere for all ages.  
  • Stay in Charge of Your Child’s Safety: Small, glitzy decorations like light-up holiday jewelry and battery-powered candles can contain lithium “button batteries.” If your little one finds and ingests one of these small, round batteries, it could become lodged in their esophagus. The electric current inherent in these batteries has a chemical reaction with saliva that can badly harm your child’s esophagus in as little as two hours, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. Don’t let one of these toys ruin Christmas morning for your family this year!
  • Keep Food on the Table: While food-shaped decorations such as candy cane ornaments or imitation fruit add festive touches to your home, your little one may not be able to tell what’s safe to eat. Some of these decorations can even contain lead or cadmium, which could be poisonous if your child tries to eat them. This holiday season, be sure to keep these items far away from hungry kiddos!
  • Small Size, Big Danger: We all know toddlers love trying to eat everything in sight, so it’s important to keep small decorations, like nativity scene figurines, inaccessible to your tiny tots. You wouldn’t typically keep toys with small parts in reach of your toddler, so ensure you don’t leave these choking hazards around the house during the holidays, either.
  • Wrap Up Santa’s Workshop: From tags and bows to paper and ribbons, trimmings for gifts are beautiful, but can lead to suffocating and choking hazards for your children. That’s why it’s important to carefully clean your “elf station” when your wrapping is complete. Make sure to keep scissors and tape dispensers in a cabinet with a childproof latch for added security.

This holiday season, we hope you take the time to inspect your holiday décor and ensure your halls are decked safely and securely! If an accident does occur, remember Urgent Care for Children is open every day of the year and is always here to help your little one feel merry and bright again.